AUSTRALIAN BIBLE CHURCH, December 21, 2014
A Presbyterian Church following the Bible without Qualification
and the Lord Jesus Christ without Compromise
THE BABE AND THE BELLIGERENTS, THE PEACE AND THE PAYMENT
LUCK AND LORD
It is good that the contra-Christian zeal which lies behind some of the most ambiguously presented multi-cultural concepts in this land of Australia, has not yet obliterated the Christmas testimony of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. By no means just 'the lucky country', although our blessings have been prodigious in peace (at least relatively on our own mainland), with abundance of coast and varieties of land, rather we have been one blessed from its mode of construction and constitution, even amidst its partially convict population, with reverence explicit towards "Almighty God" in the Christian setting of the 'motherland'. Such was the approach of the States as they became a Commonwealth in 1901.
There have been times for us, when the Japanese were near our coast to the East, and the USA performed great works, in her navy at the great power level, that might have gone differently and left us a different land slaving for a false imperialism, not noted for mercy; just as Britain at Dunkirk might have had a very different outcome. However, it engaged in an official day of national prayer, and the tide turned and kept to its confines.
Not small is the difference between beheadings, that primitive miscreancy of the fallen, in the interests of self-advantage for oneself, one's forces or one's religion, and mercy and honour, however imperfect this may be. It is illustrated when people literally barge in and then complain as if this were some kind of harbour for everything and anything, the better to import spies, activists and plotting betrayers of what they first claim as their help and then treat as if their domain.
Multiculturalism, what then is meant by this ? It is what in our constitutional orientation and historic past, might indeed mean: a disposition towards mercy and kindness, but not to blindness to subversion, or stray-dog tail-wagging to any and to all who then use our system and our money to sue us for not giving them what was never offered by the people! It might mean that we will not forbid prayer to any other god than one named, or attack religious locations because they are different. These are peaceable things.
It is by no means, however to be confused with a mongrelly meaninglessness, as if different cultures could virtually dictate what would make their merciful new land more to their liking. If they do not like the kind of culture which permits freedom of religion and its expression, short of physical violence and incitement to violence; if they feel no kinship with the kind of approach which views as abhorrent world rule by or for or through some kind of religious junta, still arguing amongst itself and then issuing statements as though it owned this world, then they should never be accepted here. To immigrate to a desired nation, is not to dictate; to assault the very grace and toleration ON A TRADITIONAL BASIS, which is here, is mere prostitution of grace.
OPPORTUNISTS AND OPPORTUNITY
No one should be admitted who does not plainly forswear, both in general and in particular, any approach or intention to approach matters religious or political in a way dependent on force, scheming or sedition of the very institutions which give them by grace, the way to enter.
To be sure, many people may wish to get rid of Christianity, among those already here, for different reasons; for holiness is rarely popular. Yet to USE lax and careless, blind and callow immigration procedure and legal lassos freely with Australia's money, as our own people are at times almost corralled into submission to alien concepts which become masterful and impenitently demanding, what of this ? It is is merely a massive vote of unthankfulness for all that the nation has been, has at times in defence fought for, and valued. If values are to change, and this goes to Constitutional level, that is free by voting for such a change, in the prescribed pattern.
But let them not be changed out of fear or a freakish view of multiculturalism which makes of it a scourge from the violent, a drain for the permissive and a tool for the mutant. There is such a thing as bringing in one type of creature to prey on another, to secure deliverance from it, only to find invasion becoming the undesired result, as with cane toads purposely brought into this country in an exterminative mission: they deleted far more than intended! It is not the name or race that matters, but the propensity for violence as the mode of establishing a culture or religion or approach. in a country. To wantonly permit such agents is woefully to ignore liberty, as if cutting off the top inch of your head would make your height less offensive to some, a fateful preference.
Many, not in this country alone, are the ways of contriving to alter a nation similarly, this time by secular, mystic ideas based on nothing but blindness. The two phases act like a pincer movement to puncture peace. Each uses force, and has ruled by oppression.
It is good that so far, our radio stations can have beautiful Christian singing in the Christmas season without objection, though there is question at times about manger scenes in public places. Take Communist or Islamic countries: do they make way quickly for those who come into their land and want things wrought differently ? How many churches have been destroyed in Egypt ? How much open Christian prayer groups were to be found amongst the aiding army, or permitted when the US was in effect rescuing Saudi Arabia! Is it, however, necessary to be supine, in order to avoid offending the reconstructionists ? Accepting dictation from those wanting their own way, using the legal offence weapon, amid a culture foreign to them, is far from wisdom; though concern and consideration for permission to have some things different in their own limited fields, is a grace shown.
THE NAME, THE NEED AND THE GRANT
But consider the impact of the Christmas season, for it reminds of the basis of Christianity, that God did not just continue, as some imagine, on some unknown course, being conceived to be quite unlike anything else in any way (and so, as astrophysicist Jason Lisle points out, not given to the use of logic - The Ultimate Proof of Creation p. 56*1). On the contrary, having made intelligence, He addressed it. Since love and not force was in view, He prepared man for a deliverance from his fall, in a way that was celestially costly and effective for mankind. Instead of simply issuing commands, He used prophets to advise, warn, show the way to wandering man. Indeed, foretelling the birth of the Messiah, who would be God Himself in human form, the Word sent from the Trinity as in Isaiah 49:15ff., and Ezekiel 34 with Hosea 13:14, He not only duly fulfilled this as announced, but the death date, and that testably! (cf. The Christian Prescription Ch. 2, with Department of Bible ... Vol. 10, Ch. 4), citing even the reason for it within a grand symphony.
As Galatians notes: in the fulness of time it happened, just as it had been foretold, once, and the death for sin in salvation for man which was to come, this too happened once and once only (Hebrews 7-10).
This is no dizzy universe galvanising man by sudden jabs from the unknown, but a created universe where man's rampant rebelliousness and irrationality have led to just those wars within and without, which characterise confusion and false ambition, fraudulent philosophy and fallacious religion.
Without the empowered peace of Jesus Christ, starting within, there is no other; and the endless seeming procession of false prophets, false politicians, false philosophies, false aims have left numbers rising towards one hundred million dead or ravaged, over the last 150 years. It seems that if this world, MOST busily discarding Jesus Christ as Lord from the agenda in Europe, in Britain, in Australia, and even in no small part in the USA, substituting and forcing the teaching of naturalistic myths in science and elsewhere, and even in this our land, introducing children in the name of education to gender change as a work of the will, and making a farce of the clearest possible means of continuing the race ... wishes to be blind, it may do so. it has only continually to close the eyes (as in Matthew 13:15). If it wishes to imitate Sodom and Gomorrah (cf. Jude), or hell in educational concentration camps and national modes of terror within, then its madness may well shortly ruin it.
As the means of destruction increase, the sites to destroy do not. As the race is mauled, the resilience does not necessarily keep up. A form of universal desperation can arrive, making all the lessons of the past few wars to be lost, while exponents of exploitation enjoy their psychic lusts.
Yet into this world came the answer. You see it in Micah 5:1-3, where a tiny baby is predicted to be born, in Bethlehem, who is fact the Judge of Israel, one to be assaulted AS JUDGE in due course, leading to Israel's expulsion from her land. Only repentance would fully rectify this as specified in Zechariah 12-13. You see it in Psalm 40, before our kind of time arrived with creation, where God the Word is seen preparing to come to earth to perform in a human body the great sacrificial work to which He is called. It is with delight that He speaks of His coming, since with God, inadequacy does not figure, and heart does.
You see more of this coming grant of grace by the incarnation of God to grant man free pardon and open manifestation, in Isaiah 9:1-7. With a vast fanfare of delight, we find a CHILD once again in focus, amid glorifying of God and delight in His gift. Here lies the crux; here is the criterion. Here is the way to wisdom, for evacuation of war, here is the wisdom of sound government, and indeed in its time, the government will be upon His shoulder, we read.
He is to be called the prince of peace, and of His kingdom there will be no end, unlike the case of the other kingdoms which the Bible foretold, as in Daniel (cf. 7:13). It is eternal, just as He was, before becoming manifest in the form and format of man (as in Philippians 2, John 8:58). Not only so, but this title for Him, Prince of Peace, is one of a solemn series of names which are prophetically accorded Him. In Hebrew, the name prince of peace, which precedes the concentration on the kingdom of His peace, is hyphenated, as is the preceding duo of terms, everlasting Father, in an expressive, bound sequence following the announcement of what His name is to be, starting with wonderful, and counsellor, to make up an unbreakable series which only assault can seek to blind or bind or subject to freakish disruption.
It comes to a succession leading on to the kingdom and then to its eternity, all accorded to Him, the term 'everlasting Father' as prelude to John 14:9, being expressive of the essential, trinitarian character of God, here once more revealed. This is no secretariat; this is THE sovereign, the Word of God incarnate, revealed by prediction over half a millenium in advance of His coming, and elsewhere as in the Psalms, a millenium before stage one of His task. That ? First as in Isaiah 53, to die for sinners, and then this sacrifice complete, when the time comes, to return in judgment, a free world having shown its own name and nature (cf. Psalms 2, 99, 72) in vile and often violent contrariety, underlining the necessity of reliance instead on the God of creation and redemption.
There then again is a child, seeming so vulnerable (and King Herod tried in vain to take advantage of that fact in the so-called Slaughter of the Innocents as in Matthew 2). Jeremiah gives indication of how this child is to have God as His Father as in Isaiah 9 and 48, and Psalm 45, being co-equal. A woman, says the prophet in Ch. 31, will encompass a man. This is interpreted as "a new thing on the earth", amid the testimony in that Chapter, of ultimate conversion in Israel, and the New Covenant which is the domain of the Messiah (Jeremiah 31:31ff.), the path of peace and redemption. How else could God become man, since He is to be the Father, than having such an exclusive participation at the human level, for the female! It is this which has never happened before and will never do so again. With God, the unique is the norm.
It must be very upsetting to be a murderer (and you can see this in Acts 3-5) when a corpse refuses to stay dead, the authorities in that case receiving a mini-lecture from the apostles. Told no more to preach the crucified, risen, Messianic Jesus Christ, they replied that the authorities should judge for themselves, for it was impossible for them not to narrate what they had seen and heard. Should they REALLY obey religious commands from man, when God had shown otherwise!
Because man has not advanced in reply to this, he suffers, his world suffers, his follies multiply like locusts, his foulness reeks like a battalion of mice, and he teaches more and more depravity which would almost be comic, were it not daring God to afflict this race once more for its reckless follies, mindless meanders, its cruelties and its use of force where reason is despised, and truth is left fallen the street, as if by some immoral Mafia. At least, there is something far better, for each individual, and God is not only merciful, but patient and good, so that there is a spiritual solution available freely in Christ crucified, yes rather risen, in Him who both died and rose again that He, the Maker, might be Lord over all (Romans 8:34, 14:9). Man who mocks, runs amok; but God provides proven refuge and irrefragable reality.
See also on rationality, testability, and the application to underlying assumptions, The gods of naturalism have no go! and Reason, Revelation and the Redeemer,